‘Cut short Premier League so Qatar can host a roasting World Cup’

Professor John Brewer
Professor John Brewer

Covering the vote in Zurich, but for a newspaper in the Gulf, was a revelation. They were far more interested in Qatar’s historic success in capturing the 2022 World Cup than in English anger at losing out for 2018. Plenty of people questioned the practicalities of 2022 then and those doubts have grown. Here, in a guest article, the University of Bedfordshire reports a distinguished academic and former FA official’s view that the only way England cpould properly compete in the Qatari summer of 2022 would be if the Premier and, if necessary, Football League programmes were cut short. Here, the professor in question, John Brewer, also answers some supplementary questions which will appear at the foot of the main article, whose authorship can safely be said to reside within the university’s press office …

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Manchester United v SAFC: ‘not arrogant, just better’


Whenever Sunderland play Manchester United, Salut! Sunderland expects to hear from a Scotsman in Italy. David Schiavone, a United-supporting writer who runs the MUFC podcast site redcafe.net to which we are asked to give pre-match interviews (hear the latest one 30 mintes into this podcast), also has a passion for Serie A. But United are his first love – he cheerfully accepts the “glory seeker” tag – and we thought it was time he answered our questions too. The phrase in the headline leapt effortlessly from his responses …

See also: who would have to top up with cash in a Welbeck/Henderson swap?

Salut! Sunderland: What do you make of the speculation that Qatar may bid for United, making future Manchester derbies as much Gulf as Premier encounters?

I think most people would be glad to see the back of the Glazers and if the Qatar royal family want to bid for United and write off the debt then plough some money into the club then by all means. But if they are too come into the club then they must respect the traditions and for me the manager. He built the club and it is because of him United are where they are today.

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Birflatt Boy on Blatter’s gaffes: no mincing words


Monsieur Salut didn’t get as worked up as some about the World Cup venue votes. Cries of foul play? Last-minute manipulation? Prize snatched from under the expectant winner’s nose. Er, no, that was London beating Paris to the 2012 Olympics. But other issues have arisen, so stand by for some straight(ish) talking from Birflatt Boy

A couple of weeks after the ridiculous announcement that the 2022 World Cup would be held in a country that currently has three suitable stadiums, and where the temperatures during the tournament will be so high that you could cook bacon and eggs on the roof of your car, there is now furore surrounding comments from the Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

Read moreBirflatt Boy on Blatter’s gaffes: no mincing words

England 2 Russia 13: maybe we’re not the greatest after all

As attentive readers will know, Monsieur Salut is in Zurich, reporting on the outcome of the Fifa vote – not for the British media but for a newspaper that is delighted with one of the decisions taken. The National, Abu Dhabi is enjoying a spot of reflected pride at Qatar’s choice for the 2022 World Cup. Meanwhile at home …

When Niall Quinn has a go, the world listens. Sunderland fans have no monopoly on admiration for their club’s chairman; he commands respect and attention throughout the game.

And Niall is deeply unhappy about Fifa’s humiliating rejection of a bid its president called outstanding and remarkable but then joined almost every other member of the committee in ignoring. Two votes, one of them the English one anyway, and summary elimination after Round One: sounds reminiscent of Sunderland’s performances in the last two relegation seasons.

Read moreEngland 2 Russia 13: maybe we’re not the greatest after all